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International visitors to Singapore down 2.8% on-year in first half of 2014: STB

Following the implementation of the new China Tourism Law in October last year, the number of Chinese visitors to Singapore fell 30 per cent on-year in the first half of the year, according to the Singapore Tourism Board.

SINGAPORE: International visitor arrivals to Singapore for the first half of the year hit 7.5 million - a dip of 2.8 per cent year-on-year, due mainly to a decline in Chinese visitor arrivals that stay for one day or less, the Singapore Tourism Board said on Tuesday (Aug 26).

Excluding China, visitor arrivals from other markets grew 2.3 per cent over the same six-month period, said STB.


Following the implementation of the new China Tourism Law in October last year, the number of Chinese visitors to Singapore fell 30 per cent year-on-year in the first half of 2014. "In addition, regional events like the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, the abduction of Chinese tourists in Sabah and the political unrest in Thailand have all had a dampening effect on Chinese tourism," the STB said.

The decline in Chinese visitor arrivals was mostly from those who stayed in Singapore for a day or less, STB said. In contrast, the number of Chinese visitors that stayed for at least two days jumped by 21 per cent year-on-year to hit 406,000 visitors in the first half of 2014.

This resulted in the average length of stay by Chinese visitors increasing by 56 per cent year-on-year, from an average of 2.7 days in the first half of last year to 4.2 days this year.

“We are heartened to see an increase in Chinese visitors who visit Singapore as a single destination and stay for at least two days. This shows that we have been reaching out to the right target audience and providing them with an experience that they value and enjoy,” said Mr Yap Chin Siang, Assistant Chief Executive of STB's Policy & Planning Group.

Q1 TOURISM RECEIPTS

Tourism receipts continued to grow at 5 per cent year-on-year to hit S$6 billion, while visitor arrivals held steady over the same period, said STB. For Chinese visitors, their spending dipped marginally in Q1 2014, despite arrivals dropping by 14 per cent.


Gazetted hotel room revenue rose 8.8 per cent to S$1.6 billion. Revenue Per Available Room held steady at S$218, as the 1.2 per cent decline in Average Occupancy Rate was offset by a 1.2 per cent increase in Average Room Rate.

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